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Thread: TC Electronics Polytune 3 vs BOSS TU-3W. Which one should I go for?

  1. #1
    Ultimate Tone Member OsvyRock's Avatar
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    Default TC Electronics Polytune 3 vs BOSS TU-3W. Which one should I go for?

    Hi!
    Which of the two pedal tuners option would be the best one to buy?
    Both offer buffer and true bypass options*
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    tonewood instigator
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    Default Re: TC Electronics Polytune 3 vs BOSS TU-3W. Which one should I go for?

    Get the Polytune 3. It's more accurate (+/- a half a cent as opposed to the Boss which is double that) and can be had used for $75 less, whereas the Boss isn't even on the used market yet.
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    Ultimate Tone Member OsvyRock's Avatar
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    Default Re: TC Electronics Polytune 3 vs BOSS TU-3W. Which one should I go for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chistopher View Post
    Get the Polytune 3. It's more accurate (+/- a half a cent as opposed to the Boss which is double that) and can be had used for $75 less, whereas the Boss isn't even on the used market yet.
    Thanks! I was wondering if making the extra investment was worth it. I have found used TU-3W, but a new one is better for the price. These are my concerns...

    No experience with TC. I've read that they have switch problems like pops, and getting faulty forever (realibility issues). I have experience with BOSS. I always feel they're behind other brands. I've had jacks issues with cutoffs, and stuff. I sold all my BOSS pedals*
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    tonewood instigator
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    Default Re: TC Electronics Polytune 3 vs BOSS TU-3W. Which one should I go for?

    I've had no such issues with my Polytune 3. If I found a used TU-3w I'd probably buy it just for the Waza mojo tbh.
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    Alnico 6/8 Chickenwings's Avatar
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    Default Re: TC Electronics Polytune 3 vs BOSS TU-3W. Which one should I go for?

    Just the regualar tu3 is more than good enough. Just get the one with the display you like the best. One thing i will say tho is the # indicator on the boss units is just a little red dot next to the note.
    "Technique is really the elimination of the unneccessary ... it is a constant effort to avoid any personal impediment or obstacle to acheive the smooth flow of energy and intent"
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    Ultimate Tone Member OsvyRock's Avatar
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    Default Re: TC Electronics Polytune 3 vs BOSS TU-3W. Which one should I go for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chistopher View Post
    I've had no such issues with my Polytune 3. If I found a used TU-3w I'd probably buy it just for the Waza mojo tbh.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chickenwings View Post
    Just the regualar tu3 is more than good enough. Just get the one with the display you like the best. One thing i will say tho is the # indicator on the boss units is just a little red dot next to the note.
    I've noticed a loss in clarity in the white TU-3 demos. That's why I would like one with a buffer. I want to preserve the most clarity possible out of my rig. Yes! I know that from pedal to pedal the tone changes, but I really would like to prefer the actual tone of my pedal chain: Dunlop 535q, MXR Badass Distortion 78', MXR Analog Chorus.
    So the TC & the TU-3W are almost ''the same'' pedal just different brands, and displays?

    I always tune to standard tuning...
    PS. They mute the signal, right?
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    of the Forum PFDarkside's Avatar
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    Default Re: TC Electronics Polytune 3 vs BOSS TU-3W. Which one should I go for?

    You shouldn’t have any loss of clarity with the TU-3. The only complaint I’ve seen is some think it’s too bright. The input impedance is over 1M so the buffer can seem brighter than the TU-2 or TU-3w. TU-3w does have a true bypass option.

    I’d go by what display you’d rather look at.
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  8. #8
    Little Pigbacon
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    Default Re: TC Electronics Polytune 3 vs BOSS TU-3W. Which one should I go for?

    I have a Polytune 3, which I love. I like the display modes and the accuracy, and I like having the option to choose between a quick tune and a protracted ordeal where I fly to Europe and mail back a picture of my wrist making a slight twisting motion.

    I used to have an original Polytune, and I have a Polytune Clip, and I have never used the polyphonic tuning mode on any of them. I just really like how everything else on them works.

  9. #9
    Ultimate Tone Member OsvyRock's Avatar
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    Default Re: TC Electronics Polytune 3 vs BOSS TU-3W. Which one should I go for?

    Quote Originally Posted by PFDarkside View Post
    You shouldn’t have any loss of clarity with the TU-3. The only complaint I’ve seen is some think it’s too bright. The input impedance is over 1M so the buffer can seem brighter than the TU-2 or TU-3w. TU-3w does have a true bypass option.

    I’d go by what display you’d rather look at.
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Pigbacon View Post
    I have a Polytune 3, which I love. I like the display modes and the accuracy, and I like having the option to choose between a quick tune and a protracted ordeal where I fly to Europe and mail back a picture of my wrist making a slight twisting motion.

    I used to have an original Polytune, and I have a Polytune Clip, and I have never used the polyphonic tuning mode on any of them. I just really like how everything else on them works.
    I plan to tune chromatic, muting the signal at the time of tuning. I'm researching both because of the True Bypass/Buffer options. There's also the StroboStomp HD from Peterson...



    Can't find it on eBay (one of the sites I purchase due to Free S&H).
    About the Polytune 3 vs BOSS Waza TU-3, there's something interesting here. While I do like the cosmetics, I believe it may be harder to read/see.



    The thing is I have to settle it right if I purchase the Polytune 3, due to this...


    The Medium Plate (or Plates because sometimes I use two) definitely have to go there, like this...
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    Ultimate Tone Member rainsong86's Avatar
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    Default Re: TC Electronics Polytune 3 vs BOSS TU-3W. Which one should I go for?

    The polytune 3 will be easier to see.. larger letters and 5 vertical LEDs for sharp/flat. As far as reliability it has 3 year warranty and tu-3 has 5 year. I bought my polytune from riffcity, which I believe doubles the warranty. The Waza is says "inspected in Japan" which I believe means "made in China, then shipped to Japan where it will be glanced at before global distribution". The mounting plate will be an issue with the polytune if you want to change battery and/or pedal function options. Here are the pedal functions which are under the backplate:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The main distinction of the polytune is, well, the poly tuning.. which looks like this
    Click image for larger version. 

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    It also has their proprietary "toneprint" feature where you can program any of 100s of classic tuning tones and artist-endorsed models into your pedal.. kidding

  11. #11
    Ultimate Tone Member OsvyRock's Avatar
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    Default Re: TC Electronics Polytune 3 vs BOSS TU-3W. Which one should I go for?

    Quote Originally Posted by rainsong86 View Post
    The polytune 3 will be easier to see.. larger letters and 5 vertical LEDs for sharp/flat. As far as reliability it has 3 year warranty and tu-3 has 5 year. I bought my polytune from riffcity, which I believe doubles the warranty. The Waza is says "inspected in Japan" which I believe means "made in China, then shipped to Japan where it will be glanced at before global distribution". The mounting plate will be an issue with the polytune if you want to change battery and/or pedal function options. Here are the pedal functions which are under the backplate:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20190407_234515.jpg 
Views:	18 
Size:	69.9 KB 
ID:	97310

    The main distinction of the polytune is, well, the poly tuning.. which looks like this
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20190407_234538.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	21.3 KB 
ID:	97311

    It also has their proprietary "toneprint" feature where you can program any of 100s of classic tuning tones and artist-endorsed models into your pedal.. kidding
    Thank you for making me laugh with that last line. We're definitely on the same page. Interesting what you wrote about the BOSS.

    The pedal seems to be ''Made in Japan'', but we'll never know. That may explain the price hike* Thank you for the information regarding the internal Polytune 3 switches. I may have to set those once, and leave them be. What a big pain in the ***!
    I still don't know if I should buffer or true bypass the pedal, but my mind says to ''buffer'' the thing. Here's my rig...

    Pedals have already been moved to the left to provide some space for the tuner.
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    of the Forum PFDarkside's Avatar
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    Default Re: TC Electronics Polytune 3 vs BOSS TU-3W. Which one should I go for?

    I think all Wazas are Made in Japan now. But does the SMT pick and place machine know where it resides?
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  13. #13
    Little Pigbacon
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    Default Re: TC Electronics Polytune 3 vs BOSS TU-3W. Which one should I go for?

    Quote Originally Posted by PFDarkside View Post
    I think all Wazas are Made in Japan now. But does the SMT pick and place machine know where it resides?
    No, but the product picks up a certain amount of mojo depending on how cool we think the country is.

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    Ultimate Tone Member rainsong86's Avatar
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    Default Re: TC Electronics Polytune 3 vs BOSS TU-3W. Which one should I go for?

    I'd leave it in true bypass unless you have a really long lead to your guitar or you have lower output single coils. Your chorus seems to be buffered

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    Ultimate Tone Member OsvyRock's Avatar
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    Default Re: TC Electronics Polytune 3 vs BOSS TU-3W. Which one should I go for?

    Quote Originally Posted by PFDarkside View Post
    I think all Wazas are Made in Japan now. But does the SMT pick and place machine know where it resides?
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Pigbacon View Post
    No, but the product picks up a certain amount of mojo depending on how cool we think the country is.
    Reminds me of all the manufacturing industry debate (specially when it's about music equipment).

    Quote Originally Posted by rainsong86 View Post
    I'd leave it in true bypass unless you have a really long lead to your guitar or you have lower output single coils. Your chorus seems to be buffered
    My guitars have the following combinations (at the moment): SH-5/59, Super Distortion/ PAF Pro, JB/STK-S7/STK-S6, and 498t/490r. I use a (going to be replaced) Dimarzio 10ft cable from amp to wah, and a 18ft American Stage Cable from Planet Waves/D'Addario from Chorus to guitar. I may be going with another brand or even a longer cable to replace that (faulty cutoff/ground sound) Dimarzio.
    I was watching this video, and I have a feeling my tone got somehow a ''generic''.


    It loses the highs I could get connecting direct to the amp. Still, I would like to prefer my actual tone, not downgrade it in any way. The buffer seems to bring the sparkle/highs/power back...
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    Ultimate Tone Member OsvyRock's Avatar
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    Default Re: TC Electronics Polytune 3 vs BOSS TU-3W. Which one should I go for?

    I should have waited for Reverb's sale starting tomorrow, but I purchased the Polytune 3 (Open Box) for $79.99. 2 days ago there were 9 of them, I purchased the last one.
    Maybe is a good sign!
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    Ultimate Tone Member OsvyRock's Avatar
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    Default UPDATE!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by OsvyRock View Post

    The Polytune 3 got home. I love it as a tuner. Didn't get into the firmware updates, modes or whatever. Just hitted all the strings, the Polytune activated. Played one string at a time, and it automatically went into chromatic mode. It's very precise as a tuner. Even if it's slightly off, it will detect it. NOW! The bad...
    No matter what your tone will be changed on true bypass or buffer mode. In both mode I felt it lowered my volume (and changed my tone at the same time). True Bypass felt more muddy. The buffer eliminated the muddiness, you gained ''clarity'', but some frequency in the mids were also pushed; I'm writing that knowing my HT-40 only has a tone knob for the clean channel. I felt like running it thru the ''thru'' output of my MXR Chorus, but I do know that the tuner accuracy could get affected by all the effects in the chain. I also want to keep the mute signal feature of the pedal. Preferred the ''without Polytune 3'' tone, but I could live with the change. I may need to adjust my EQ for the changes. My Badass Distortion 78' pedal got a little more fuzzy in my actual configuration.
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    Default Re: TC Electronics Polytune 3 vs BOSS TU-3W. Which one should I go for?

    For live fast stage work, if you are not using the all strings tuning at once "polytune mode" (which most people dont) -the Boss is what you want IMO because the accuracy is plenty ENOUGH and the measurement response is slightly slower and more stable -so your not chasing perfect, overshooting, and rolling back and sharpening again (repeat etc) on stage. I had a Korg with an analog VU that was soooooo accurate that it was too annoying to use live and in some regards the Polytune in single note mode can feel that way can feel that way

    In the Studio, Practice and Home the Polytune is very cool.
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  19. #19
    Ultimate Tone Member OsvyRock's Avatar
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    Default Re: TC Electronics Polytune 3 vs BOSS TU-3W. Which one should I go for?

    Quote Originally Posted by NegativeEase View Post
    For live fast stage work, if you are not using the all strings tuning at once "polytune mode" (which most people dont) -the Boss is what you want IMO because the accuracy is plenty ENOUGH and the measurement response is slightly slower and more stable -so your not chasing perfect, overshooting, and rolling back and sharpening again (repeat etc) on stage. I had a Korg with an analog VU that was soooooo accurate that it was too annoying to use live and in some regards the Polytune in single note mode can feel that way can feel that way

    In the Studio, Practice and Home the Polytune is very cool.
    I truly agree with you. The Polytune 3 seems to be the right one for a studio setting or a place where you need the tuning to be spot-on. I really like it considering I'm going to be recording soon, and appreciate to be in-tune while playing. The BOSS definitely seems to be the one suited for live use. I've read about the buffer of the TU-3W being better than the one in the Polytune 3 and after my experience with the Polytune 3, I don't doubt there's something ''better'' out there, but I already have the Polytune pedal in my pedalboard...

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